Two #Children, a Good #Samaritan, Banish From Homes, Seek Protection at #CRARN Centre

2 Apr
#CNNiReport: Three children yesterday arrived the CRARN Children Centre in Eket – Nigeria, a Centre that takes in children banished from their family homes by parents and relatives over the allegation of witchcraft practice. The children who came from different villages and communities narrated their ordeals in the hands of their relatives said they feared for their lives while on the streets,  that is why they sought refuge at CRARN Children Centre.

Speaking to newsmen at the Centre, Ms Esther Edem (surname changed to conceal identity), a 13-year-old girl from Edo, Esit-Eket and the senior among them, said she found the other two girls roaming the streets and discovered upon inquiry that they were abandoned by their parents. She said she took them to their family home where she lives with her uncle and gave them food. When her uncle came back from work, she reported the incident to him and requested him to take the children and meet their parents if they could accept them back. Blessing said instead of yielding to her request, her uncle launched an attack on her and ordered her to leave his house with the two girls immediately. She said her uncle revealed to her that he had been suspecting her of being a witch all this while.
“I was thinking he was going to be happy and try to help the girls out of their dilemma. I was surprised when he pounced on me with anger and a spank. He asked me to leave his house immediately, so I left the house and did not know where to go. While roaming the street in the middle of the night, and as we sat in an uncompleted building, Ima came with an idea that we should go to CRARN Centre, a place she had been about six years ago. That’s why we came here.” Esther told reporters.
Ima who brought them to the CRARN Children Centre said her grandmother packed out and left their rented apartment in Ekpene Obo, Esit Eket where they were staying and asked her to find her way because she can no longer take care of a witch. She said she was in CRARN Centre in 2010 at the age of five and was reconciled with her grandmother who had been very good with her until a prophet told her  that she was still possessed by the evil spirit and has been responsible for her misfortunes and business downtown.
The youngest of the trio, Blessing Bassey, said she attended a prayer session on a Friday night (which locals called Tarry Night) after her two siblings were kidnapped by unknown gunmen, one of the Pastors in a  small church close to the Mary Slessor Health Centre, Effoi – Eket denounced her as using her magic power to cause the kidnapping of her two siblings and causing the family to go broke. She maintained that things changed for the worst since that fateful day and her parents began a string of torture on her every night before she was finally sent out the house.
The Child’s Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) Centre was founded by Mr Sam Ikpe Itauma in 2003 while still a college student when he rescued four “witch” branded children from the hands of angry youths who wanted to kill them for coming to a nearby market and begging for alms. Itauma was not, however, available for comments when reporters visited the Centre. But the Centre manager, Ms Carol Akpan said there were cases of new children flocking into the Centre with no adequate support to cater for them. She regretted that some children could not be accepted, except in extreme or emergency cases, but referred to the government centres or  taken to their communities for immediate reconciliation and reunification with family which has always  been a very difficult task.

CRARN Calls On Police To Investigate Case Of A Child Bathed With Hot Water

16 Feb

Anambra  State: The Nigerian police and other security agencies have been called upon to investigate the case of a four-year-old female child who was bathed with hot water over accusation of witchcraft in Anambra State, the South Eastern region of Nigeria and bring the culprits to book.Burnt girl, Child bathed with hot water over witchcraft

The Founder and President of the Child’s Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) Mr. Sam Itauma made the call in a telephone chat with newsmen yesterday.

Itauma stated that his organization was prepared to work with the security agencies in the country to unravel and bring the culprits of the heinous crime to book to serve as a deterrent to others. The CRARN founder said the little girl did not deserve such gruesome attack by an adult who has the obligation of protecting her.

The little girl was said to have been poured with hot water all over the body by her stepmother who believed that the child was possessed with witchcraft powers and was responsible for her persistent illness.

“We’re willing to work with the police and other relevant agencies to make sure that the perpetrators face justice to serve as a deterrent to others.”

Mr. Itauma disclosed that the fate of the burnt child was first brought to limelight by a CRARN volunteer and member of the Children Brigade International, Mr. Ubong Etuk who has been working assiduously to campaign against the silent brutality against innocent children across the country on the basis of witchcraft superstition.

The charity worker called on the government to carry out and sustain enlightenment campaigns to brush off superstition in minds of the people to lessen the spate of witchcraft related attacks and abuse on children and elderly persons. He averred further that anyone accused of witchcraft would not have a defender on his or her side even as the immediate relations would be scared and flee from him, thereby allowing the victims to suffer and die in the hands his accusers and attackers.

“The only way to checkmate this trend is for the government across the country to partner with the civil society and faith-based organizations and launch a vigorous awareness campaign so as to cushion the yoke of superstition in the people’s mind.”

Mr. Itauma lamented that even the scholars who were supposed to be the touch-bearers of the society were themselves trapped in the vicious circle of witchcraft belief which he said was entirely superstitious and baseless. He regretted that religious profiteers were exploiting the ignorant population in Africa to fan embers of discord in families with their false teachings for personal gains.

“It just baffles me that in this 21st century, you still have greater chunks of the scholarly community believing that ordinary diseases like malaria and high blood pressure are caused by certain spiritual and mysterious beings somewhere. This has given some religious profiteers the leeway to dominate the airwaves with spurious preachings and fears with the sole intent of exploiting it to their whims and caprices.

For details go http://www.crarn.net

“Aaren O’Connor’s Killers” Written In Graffiti On Side Of Pilsen Home

16 Feb

It has been 10 days since 25-year-old Aaren O’Connor was killed by a stray bullet as she sat in her car in the city’s Heart of Chicago neighborhood and now police are looking at some graffiti as a possible clue in the case.

Source: “Aaren O’Connor’s Killers” Written In Graffiti On Side Of Pilsen Home

PROPOSED OIL RIVERS STATE: Adventurism of Ijaw Renegates Into Akwa Ibom State 1

10 Sep

GlobalVille News

By Dr Tom Mbeke-Ekanem
Part I
Oil Spill in the Niger Delta
The damage to Akwa Ibom would have been worse than what the Japanese suffered during the 2011 Tsunami that was triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake. On Thursday, August 21, 2014, the National Conference inaugurated on March 17, 2014 came to an end with the submission of the Conference report to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. In its final report, the Conference recommended the creation of 18 additional states which will increase the number of states in the country to 54, four more than United States.
Among the proposed new states is Oil Rivers State. In the final report on page 708, it is stated that the Oil Rivers State will be created from Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. The inclusion of Akwa Ibom State in the proposed Oil Rivers when it was not discussed at the Conference was a shocker to the Akwa Ibom delegates…

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Rogue Naval Officer Battered Akwa Ibom Politician After Stealing Fuel from Gas Station.

26 Aug

By Our Reporter

Naval Officer who stole fuel and beat up Eket Politician.

Naval Officer who stole fuel and beat up Eket Politician.


In what appears to be a repeat of the Lady Uzoma Okere’s treatment by naval officers in Lagos, a prominent politician in Eket local government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Ekanem Willie was in the early hours of Sunday August 24, 2014, viciously battered and assaulted by a naval officer believed to be attached to the Navy Basic Training School, Onne, Port Harcourt Rivers State after he ran away with fuel worth of three thousand Naira.

The ugly and unnecessary display of smartness by the rogue naval officer who name is yet to be known happened at Stevegrad Filling Station along Liverpool Rood in Eket.

Hon. Willie said while briefing newsmen in Eket over the incident said that the naval officer took off his batch to deliberately conceal his identity and avoid identification by anyone who was around the scene.

“The naval officer, whose service number and name was not displayed on his unofficial uniform, drove into a filling station and bought fuel worth #3,000 (about $32) only. He tricked the pump attendant to allow him to eat some parked food in the naval bus before making payment. He all of a sudden entered the dark blue navy bus with an inscription “NAVY BASIC TRAINING SCHOOL, ONNE” and with registration number NAVY NNO9-D09, and drove off quickly. The pump attendant stood helpless.

Since I was in the same filling station to buy fuel, I offered to assist the pump attendant by pursuing the naval officer whom I accosted along Onna-Ikot Abasi High Way. I asked him to pay for the fuel he bought. He (Naval Officer) denied buying fuel without making payment but later accepted.”

Hon. Willie, a former Vice Chairman of Eket Local Government Council said his only sin for the torture in the hands of the thievery naval officer was he bluntly told him in the face he was a disgrace to the Nigerian Navy.

Naval Officer who stole fuel and beat up Akwa Ibom  Politician and Naval Bus He drove.

Naval Officer who stole fuel and beat up Akwa Ibom Politician and Naval Bus He drove.


“My only sin was for me to tell him that he is an embarrassment to Nigeria and The Nigerian Navy.

This huge and tall Naval Officer slapped me and tore my dress to pieces.” Hon. Ekanem Willie, an Eket grassroots politician and community leader, who aspired for Eket LGA Chairmanship position in the last primaries under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called on well-meaning Nigerians to help him by bringing this Naval Officer to justice.

Reacting to the news, an Abuja based human right activist, Mr. John Peter said the action of the naval officer was not only criminal but a violation of Hon. Willie’s fundamental human right and abuse of his professional uniform. He called on the Nigerian Navy to take a disciplinary action against what he described as “barefaced thief in navy uniform’ to serve as a deterrent to others.

All efforts by our reporters to contact Director of Logistic and Administration Naval Basic Training School, Onne, Rivers State did yield dividends as calls and text messages directed to his mobile numbers were unresponsive as at the time of going to the press.

WHY YOU WILL NOT BE OUR GOVERNOR.

4 Aug

By Dr Sam Etuk

*WE are tired of ungubernatorial speeches

For weeks I have been contemplating writing this letter, but discarded the idea 12 times. But since Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka says that, ‘The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny’.-The Man Died (New York: Harper & Row, 1972- p. 13), I think I have seen enough tyrannies to force me to speak up because I don’t want to die. Yes it is not in my character to die as a coward, though all of us in Akwa Ibom State are being forced to take that option, we should see and speak not. When you speak friends desert you and declare you a no go area, some even blackmail you for pittance just to satisfy their bandwagon fear of the unknown, but I will opt out of the spineless crowd and differ from such idiosyncrasy, because I know cowardice is a devastating weakness, for the sake of myself, my Children and their future, I will speak up today, I don’t need any supporter. The truth must be told. I have not compromised my integrity, no not yet not within the labyrinth of lies and confusion, elevated by threats and stock piling of ammunition for their perceived craving for power.

For weeks I have been contemplating writing this letter, but discarded the idea 12 times. But since Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka says that, ‘The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny’.-The Man Died (New York: Harper & Row, 1972- p. 13), I think I have seen enough tyrannies to force me to speak up because I don’t want to die. Yes it is not in my character to die as a coward, though all of us in Akwa Ibom State are being forced to take that option, we should see and speak not. When you speak friends desert you and declare you a no go area, some even blackmail you for pittance just to satisfy their bandwagon fear of the unknown, but I will opt out of the spineless crowd and differ from such idiosyncrasy, because I know cowardice is a devastating weakness, for the sake of myself, my Children and their future, I will speak up today, I don’t need any supporter. The truth must be told. I have not compromised my integrity, no not yet not within the labyrinth of lies and confusion, elevated by threats and stock piling of ammunition for their perceived craving for power.

In the past months, I have had to defend some gubernatorial aspirants from Akwa Ibom State, who are angling for the 2015 ticket before my very cerebral children. They believe venturing into politics in our clime is a waste of time, they are not interested in the dubious financial gains, because  they believe their parents’ antecedent is worth dying for or protecting forever. They are always proud and keep reminding me of their great grand Uncle cum father, Sampson Udo Etuk, the Ibibio Union icon, who denied himself overseas scholarship, whereas he was in charge of the funds and administration of the educational award, to allow others, who did not have the wherewithal like him to proceed abroad under the scholarship scheme to further their education, why he sponsored himself and later his children.

Today’s politicians would rather pilfer the money to build mansions for themselves and their siblings, and rape the society of such a great opportunity. The likes of Sampson Udo Etuk have long gone; even his colleagues at that time were very   much undecided about issues that favoured others. One is proud to be chiseled out from such honoured and celebrated stock. These kids   yearn to keep the legacy.

 

I read Assam Assam’s letter to Udom Emmanuel with stoic calmness that was why I chose to read it around midnightor about 30 minutes past midnight. I needed that kind of a serene environment to enable me digest the letter and perfectly decipher what he was trying to convey, knowing that “The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism”-Wole Soyinka.

I know he wrote it and did not need to pay a letter writer to do it for him. He may be a cantankerous person as his critics claim including Udom Emmanuel, but  he  intelligently marshaled out his points, forget his so called antecedence, but his language were civil, although he flew off the handle in few places, it was logical. He did not dissipate his energy trying to lie to tell the truth or malign personalities, he focused on issues of import.

 

Days after, my loquacious human right activist colleague, Clifford Thomas woke me up from my sleep and dropped a printed version of the Udom Emmanuel’s reply on my lap. I was not disappointed because as most replies (advertorials) from the Akwa Ibom State present government connote, so many innuendoes were used to convey his message.

Udom Emmanuel

Although Udom made his points, such submissions were beclouded by the personal attacks on Assam, which made the letter amateurish. The art of discrediting your adversary before correcting any perceived cuff could work in a court room, but Udom can bear me witness that as a boardroom player that he is like me, it is usually counterproductive rather bare facts and truth work. Udom disappointed me and others of that class. He might have made his point but it was not very convincing for a man who hopes to rule us. Politics is a different ball game, one slip can affect the mindset of your supporters, forget about the executive rascality which is a Nigeria power fort, but when the time comes, the true supporters will be revealed based on your words.

While contemplating writing this letter I stumbled on my friend, Fani Kayode’s article and this quote attracted me: ‘”why should we speak out? Why should we bother? What difference will it make? Why should we risk our lives? Why should we swim against the tide? Why should we bother fighting against the government or the authorities because we can never win?” These are deep and difficult questions but thankfully Dante Alighieri provided the answer to some of them when he wrote that ”the hottest place in hell is reserved for those that remain neutral in times of great moral crisis”. This is not only true but it is also deeply profound.’

It emboldens me and I just let off a wry laughter because most of us have been hounded into the pit, and our mind is seared, without feelings. Those who perpetrated the 2010 hideous crimes are still around- The threesome. Therefore when those mean men arrogantly want to break every bone to triumph in a democratic set up, don’t forget we had been watching your back for years.

The office of a governor is respectable and should be treated as such. No amount of provocation should make a respected governor lower his esteemed position because he wants to trade words with a mad man on the street or show the public that he also has guts. Such brash bravery is not expected from anyone who aspires to such an office, this is why like many respected Akwa Ibom people, I am disappointed. The diatribe is a reflection of what we should expect if any of such ilks becomes our governor. I also wonder what we mean by backdoor even the one expressed by our governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio was vaguely presented and if one reads meaning to it now, stones will start flying from all cylinders including the unintelligent passersby. This is one area we have not defined as we try to reinvent the story of Absalom. This is why we should succinctly present it before I write my own definition, which I have the journalistic license to do because for two good years I studied interpretative reporting, before they start accusing me of quoting Absalom, sorry backdoor out of context. Also I have THE POETIC LICENSE to be vague too. The Bible has been so battered by our claims to Christianity and respect for God, yet our actions do not portray the character of godly people. Perhaps, it is the religious titles that get our head swollen. According to the forerunner of Christianity, Jesus, the Christ, FORGIVENESS is a virtue in Christian living. It is highly desirable –even the Lord’s Prayer that we invoke on ourselves daily teaches us the right thing to do- “Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me.” Therefore it means if I don’t forgive others I will not be forgiven. God did not place this conditionality on us, we did it by ourselves by invoking it anytime we pray and should be responsible for it.

Mark my words our impetuous braveness will not make us governor of Akwa Ibom State nor claims which are underlined by lies. The Ibibio Elders Forum, once said to be a campaign team of a guber aspirant and not recognized by government as a reputable organization (advertorial signed by government appointees on behalf of the government stated this clearly) despite its founding father being late Dr Clement Nnyong Isong, our quintessential former CBN governor and civilian governor of then Cross River State, is now being used by aspirants to pep up their political profiling and their media touts resorting to blackmailing the group of those distinguished and accomplished elders, whose ages range from 55 to 90 years. A stone that was rejected….. Why claim an endorsement that has not happen,  the same Elders Council also hosted other aspirants and none turn around to claim, we’ve been endorsed by Ibibio Elders Forum.

Don’t let me say more. Once again accept my compliment and sincere gratitude for expressing your interest in contesting to serve us, but desist from insulting our sensibility, as more letters are coming from my stable in the near future.

Sincerely

Sam Inyang  Etuk

PRESS RELEASE 2015: Wike’s Governorship Ambition a Pipe Dream —APC

4 Aug

GlobalVille News

Nyesom Wike Nyesom Wike
The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed as a pipe dream, the ambition of Minister of State, Chief Nyesome Wike, to rule the State, predicting that he will meet his political waterloo during the 2015 governorship election.

“We have noted Wike’s boast that he will beat other candidates even in their wards during the governorship election. This is nothing but the blowing of hot air by a political Lilliput who seems to have forgotten how he achieved the little relevance that is now intoxicating him,” Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said on Sunday in Port Harcourt.

Ikanya in a statement signed on his behalf by his Senior Media Aide, Chie Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, reminded Wike that he owes his position as a junior minister to the Rivers State APC Leader, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. “The same Amaechi that made him will…

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